I was browsing my birth board on a site where I have visited since I found out I was pregnant back in the summer of ’07. One of the titles caught my eye, it read something like this “AP parents are you sorry that you did it? I AM!” the rest of the post read more or less the same. The writer was sorry that she had ever practiced APing. She states that she has a “monster” on her hands (at just 15 months old) and that it is the fault of APing, the fault of breastfeeding, baby wearing, non-CIO, and responding quickly to her child. She stated that “they” (other people, friends, doctor etc.) had said this was the “best” way to do things and now it was backfiring, and she is angry.
I read the post and the responses with amusement. Not at her expense. I am sorry that she is finding it difficult to parent a 15 month old. I also find it challenging. My little guy is changing a lot right now, he is much busier, he has dropped to taking 1 nap a day, he is figuring out how to verbalize, he screams more, it is harder to put him down for sleep, he is developing a taste for certain food items and disliking others, he has learned to hit, etc. Along with these developmental milestones comes a whole new set of parenting challenges.
I was wondering while I read the frustrated post how you could possibly know if APing had “worked” when you have a 15 month old? This is a long-term commitment. We have just begun the adventure of raising our children to be whole, attached, compassionate people, we are nowhere near our goal! APing is a lifetime commitment. I don’t think that it has an end. In my life, in my relationship with my parents it continues to a degree even to this day. I do have fairly unique circumstances in that my parents are the founders of the co-housing-intentional-community that my little family is a part of. I see them practice APing even now, it is not just for parenting but a way of life, a way to treat people, a way to communicate as a family.
Don’t get me wrong here and think that I am saying that it is easy! It isn’t! Learning how to discipline our young toddlers, how to teach them self-control, how to set limits, how to raise children that everyone enjoys spending time with. I have been around many children who were just left to their own devices as a form of APing, allowed to do whatever they wanted with no restraint. No one liked being around these children! I don’t want that for my child. These are difficult things to work through and take time, research, and sometimes frustration!
But through all this I must keep in mind that I am in this for the long-haul, this is not something that is going to happen over night, or in 15 months, or even for years! This is a way of life and I can either let it shape me or break me.